Monica's Movie Musings: Jeepers Creepers
Okay- this movie is nuts. Absolutely nuts. The first part is so good,
but the second so bad, that I think the writer must've died halfway through
the script and been replaced by Carrot Top (sadly, Victor Salva, who directed
and starred in this film, also wrote the whole movie). In light of this,
I've decided that this film should be reviewed not as one, but two separate
films- Jeepers Creepers Part 1, the terror/suspense thriller, and Jeepers
Creepers Part 2, a parody of a bad "X-Files" episode. Let the
Trish (Gina Philipps) and her brother Derry (Justin Long) are driving
down a long, deserted highway in the middle of nowhere and, on a whim,
they decide to explore a suspicious church basement. As a result, they
find a horrific creature who begins to hunt them down in a chilling game
of cat and mouse. This part has some excellent camera angles, good development
of the story, and very natural acting.
That's the first "movie."
The second is much more fun to review.
In it, among other insignificantly predictable events, the two main characters
meet up with a psychic who tells them the very cheesy mythology of the
monster (every 23rd spring for 23 days blah blah blah). This also conveniently
serves to foreshadow the result of the chase. I can just see Salva writing
the script late one night thinking, "Hmmm
. This story needs
a creative, enticing way to explain the legend of the monster
it needs some clever nail-biting suspense
but I can't be creative
or enticing, let alone clever, so, I'll just write in a crazy psychic
to come out of nowhere!"
Good to know he got more sleep.
Disappointingly, in development of the story, the movie broke a very
important slasher movie rule: "You Tell 'Em, You Kill 'Em."
Think about it. Only the helpless group of hunted victims truly knows
about the monster and they are either cut off from communication with
everyone, or no one ever believes them. And when some expendable, promising
bystander finally does believe their story, the audience knows that he's
the next one to die.
Now, there are some exceptions--a well thought-out horror movie can bypass
this rule, get many people entwined in the plot, and still make it work.
This is not one of those movies. Jeepers Creepers Part 2 tries and fails
miserably. The outsiders involved don't all die, and they are much stupider
than the kids.
Here's an example of what you can expect: a mass of armed cops stand
in a room facing the monster at point-blank range. Trish, in a moment
of such sappiness that I began laughing loudly in my seat, tries to make
a deal with it: "Take me! Take me! I'm stronger! You want me!"
One would assume that the cops shove her aside mid-sentence and proceed
to pump the monster's guts full of lead. But no.
That would be too smart of them.
Characters who are smart are a big no-no in movies that are stupid.